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Predictors of under-five childhood diarrhea: Mecha District, West Gojam, Ethiopia

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Abstract:

Background: Diarrheal disease is widely recognized as a major cause of child morbidity and mortality in developing countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa including Ethiopia. There exist variations in explanatory variables of diarrhea depending on the context of the study. Objective: To examine the effects of selected environmental, socio-economic and behavioral factors on childhood diarrhea in Mecha District, West Gojjam, Ethiopia. Methods: A community based cross-sectional study was carried out in February 2009. A proportionate stratified random sampling technique was used to select 768 households that had at least one under-five child. Data was collected using a pre-tested structured questionnaire by trained data collectors. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were undertaken to identify predictors of childhood diarrhea. Results: The prevalence of diarrhea among mothers and under-five children was 8.2% and 18.0%, respectively. Maternal education (AOR=5.6, 95% CI: 1.5 - 19.4), maternal history of recent diarrhea (AOR, 5.5; 95% CI, 2.9 - 9.8), availability of latrine facility (AOR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.1-3.4), duration of breast feeding (AOR=2.7, 95% CI: 1.1- 7.3), and age of the child (AOR=2.8; 95% CI: 1.3 - 5.9) had a significant association. Conclusion: From this study, variation in the level of diarrheal morbidity is well explained by maternal factors and presence of latrine facility. Educating mothers focusing on sustained behavioral changes in the use of latrine integrated with personal hygiene is an important intervention for the prevention and control of diarrhea among children. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2011;25;(3):192-200]

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